The first Thursday in May is World Password Day. It is a celebration to promote better password habits. From online shopping to social media, to banking and private work; all have one thing in common, passwords. At North London IT Support, we share our advice on keeping passwords safe.
How to choose a password
You might be tempted to use your first born’s name or birthday as a password. However this is not advisable. Try to use at least 8 characters, with a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Also try not to use words or have letters in words so they look like words – eg S4u$ages.
Create a memorable nonsense sentence like “My red desk is big with 2 drawers. I bought it for £300 yesterday.” Then take the first letter of each word and your password will look like this “Mrdibw2d.£3y”. It meets the criteria of not being a proper word, contains letters, numbers and symbols and is 12 characters long. It is also hopefully rather easy to remember. You can find more information on how to create a strong memorable password on How-to Geek.
How often should you change your password?
Passwords should be changed periodically where practical, especially those used a lot, such as logging onto your computer system or email passwords (roughly every 3 months). At North London IT Support we have seen situations where accounts have been compromised. It is better therefore now to use two-factor authentication where you are also texted a code to your mobile.
Pretty much every secure system we now use online requires a password. It is impossible to remember all the passwords we now use (if you take our advice and use different passwords for different systems). You therefore need a system for password storage which is very secure, yet easily accessible.
However our favourite at North London IT Support is Password Safe as an excellent open-source (free) utility for password storage. There are also apps available for this one for phones which means you can carry them with you.
Other password advice
Here’s some more advice for you concerning IT security and passwords:
- Don’t share passwords
- Don’t re-use passwords
North London IT Support advice
If your account is compromised, change all your passwords if possible and try to see what has been accessed. If in doubt, contact us!